Direct Deposit and Payment Users Save $90 More Monthly

06.19.07 | Money, Online Banking | 1 Comment | by junger

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Direct deposit is one of the biggest time savers in the history of banking. When I started my first job, I received paper checks — a pain to deal with and a waste of time (and, therefore, money).

According to a study by NACHA - the Electronic Payments Association, people who use direct deposit and direct payment save $90 more per month than those who don't (pdf link).

"People who save using electronic payments are usually more consistent and committed savers," said Diane Freeman, 2007 chairman of MMG and FedACH product manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. "Once you set up Direct Deposit or Direct Payment, the money goes into your savings account automatically each month. You are less likely to notice the deduction if this happens automatically versus manually."

Now, the study doesn't go so far as to say that using direct deposit will increase your savings by $90 per month, but by making your transactions automatic, saving becomes that much easier.

The report also found that "only 36 percent of respondents use Direct Deposit or Direct Payment to save." I'm going to assume that they mean use in general — as in, my paycheck is direct deposited into my checking account every two weeks. "The majority saved by depositing checks or cash (41%) or by manually transferring money between accounts (13%)," says the study.

That 36% seems incredibly low. Are that many people weary of direct deposit? Or, assuming they have to sign up for direct deposit, are they just taking the path of least resistance?

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